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For Your Reflection....

A BRIDGE FOR COMMUNITY

Let’s be honest...explaining to others who we are as a church is not always an easy task.  With a name like “Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)”, you’ve said a mouthful, but you might find people looking at you like you haven’t clarified anything; or worse they may get the wrong impression.  I remember speaking with a woman about my church – upon hearing that we were part of the Christian Church (D.O.C.) she exclaimed, “that sounds like one of those ‘bible-thumping’ churches!  Are you one of those ‘bible-thumping’ churches?”  I explained that yes, we do believe in the Bible, but no, we probably are not the stereotypical ‘bible-thumping’ church that she is thinking of...read more

 

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Please scroll to the very bottom for a VIDEO about the Christian Church (DOC) denomination!

Our Congregation's History

First Christian Church Baton Rouge traces its beginnings to 1847. Through the period of Reconstruction until the early 20th century, the congregation struggled to exist. In 1903, the revival of a Christian-Disciples church occurred and the congregation has remained active in the community ever since. Following several geographical moves throughout Baton Rouge, the congregation moved to its present location on Old Hammond Highway in 1964 with our first four buildings dedicated in 1965. Construction of the seventh and final building was completed in 1991.

THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST) IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA


The Restoration Movement, with which the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) finds its connection, attempted to complete the Protestant Reformation and united all Christians by returning the church to its New Testament beliefs and practices. The Restoration Movement was birthed in Western Pennsylvania and Kentucky and quickly spread west with the westward movement of the American frontier through the 1800's.

Barton Stone, one of the primary founders of the Restoration Movement, left the Presbyterian Church in Kentucky in 1802 in order to start a movement that would take on the biblical name of “Christians.” He believed in the unity of all Christians and that this unity could only take place through the emphasis of the scripture Christians had in common and the removal of creeds churches used to distinguish themselves from one another. Experiencing a revival at his Cane Ridge congregation the previous year that launched the Second Great Awakening, Stone also believed that all believers, regardless of denominational affiliation should be allowed to partake of communion.

Several years later Thomas Campbell and his son Alexander, also founders of the Restoration Movement, left the Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania. They believed in weekly communion and baptism by immersion, as prescribed in the New Testament. They practiced an open table (all who believed in Christ could partake of the bread and cup) and believed in the ability of the laity to lead worship. They also held that the Bible alone, and not creeds or doctrines, should be the only rule in matters of faith. With Stone, they shared a belief in the unity of all Christians and chose for themselves the New Testament name “Disciples.”

In 1832, in Lexington, Kentucky, Stone's “Christians” and the Campbells' “Disciples” joined forces to form the Christian-Disciples movement. This movement underwent several organizational modifications and, unfortunately, divisions.  In 1968, those churches who wished to join together to accomplish those things which they could not do as independent congregations went through a restructure and officially named themselves The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Today, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has over 4,000 congregations and 800,000 members in the United States and Canada. While heavily concentrated in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, it supports congregations in all 50 states and missionary ties in 80 countries worldwide.

For more information on the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), check out this website.

Or you can do some reading on our history and beliefs by consulting these texts:

* Cummins, Duane D. A Handbook for Today's Disciples
* McAllister, Lester and William Tucker. Journey in Faith: A History of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
* Osborn, Ronald. The Faith We Affirm: Basic Beliefs of Disciples of Christ
* Toulouse, Mark. Joined in Discipleship: The Maturing of an American Religious Movement

The Chalice

The official symbol of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is the red chalice bearing the Saint Andrew's Cross. The chalice represents the centrality of the Lord's Supper in Disciples worship services. Red signifies the blood of Jesus Christ, by which we are saved. The cross in the shape of an “X” is the national symbol of the Church of Scotland and pays tribute to our early Scottish Presbyterian roots. The lower left leg of the cross, touching the edge of the chalice, remains open to express our open fellowship and our belief in Christian unity.